Paisami returns for Round 3 clash against Force in Perth

Wed, Mar 2, 2022, 6:00 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit

Hunter Paisami will feature for the Queensland Reds for the first time in 2022 after the strike centre was named in the starting XV to take on the Western Force in Perth this Friday night.

Paisami is one of eight changes to the matchday 23, with Josh Nasser making his starting debut and Kalani Thomas and Tuaina Taii Tualima featuring for the first time this season, while Brothers hooker Matt Faessler will potentially make his Queensland and Super Rugby Pacific debut off the bench.

In the absence of the injured Liam Wright and Tate McDermott, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto will captain his state for the first time.

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: "It's been a big week with the floods up here in Brisbane.

"We've had two tough games so far and we look forward to another one against the Force on Friday night.

"They've got good experience and they're playing in front of their home fans for the first time this year, so they'll be a tough opposition," said Thorn.

Dane Zander and Feao Fotuaika will combine with Nasser in the front-row, while skipper Salakaia-Loto and Angus Blyth continue their partnership as locks.

Seru Uru starts at blindside flanker for the first time in 2022 and will run on alongside Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson.

Thomas pairs with James O’Connor in the halves, with Paisami set to combine with Hamish Stewart in a powerful midfield pairing.

Josh Flook shifts to the wing to cater for Paisami’s return, with Jordan Petaia and Jock Campbell retaining their spots in the back row.

Off the bench, hooker Faessler will potentially earn his first Queensland cap after impressing at Queensland Premier Rugby level with Brothers and in the National Rugby Championship with Queensland Country.

Taniela Tupou will also return after withdrawing from last week’s win against the Waratahs due to back spasms, while the versatile Tualima will make his first appearance of 2022.

The match will be exclusively broadcast live on Stan Sport, with kick-off set for 9:00pm AEST.

Western Force v Queensland Reds, HBF Park, Perth, 9:00pm AEST:

  1. Dane Zander – Norths
  2. Josh Nasser* – University of Queensland
  3. Feao Fotuaika – Sunnybank
  4. Angus Blyth – Bond University
  5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (c) – Souths
  6. Seru Uru – Wests
  7. Fraser McReight – Brothers
  8. Harry Wilson – Brothers
  9. Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland
  10. James O’Connor – Brothers
  11. Josh Flook – Brothers
  12. Hamish Stewart – Brothers
  13. Hunter Paisami – Wests
  14. Jordan Petaia – Wests
  15. Jock Campbell – University of Queensland
  16. Matt Faessler** – Brothers
  17. Harry Hoopert – Brothers
  18. Taniela Tupou – Brothers
  19. Ryan Smith – Brothers
  20. Tuaina Taii Tualima – GPS
  21. Spencer Jeans – Bond University
  22. Lawson Creighton – Brothers
  23. Mac Grealy – University of Queensland

*denotes Queensland and Super Rugby starting debut

*denotes potential Queensland and Super Rugby debut